Tom continues to rock the role of my hero, the new and improved Clark Kent. Once again Clark was proactive, independent, smart, and heroic. Not to mention adorable, hilarious, and incredibly, unbelievably hot! From the time he walked down the Kent Farm stairs in that devastating ensemble on his way to work, to his last, wistful scene in the loft, I enjoyed every moment Clark was on my TV screen. He followed clues and investigated to solve the mystery of Maxima, he played the hero to save both Jimmy and Lois, he confronted Chloe about her new power, and he held his ground with Tess. He made me proud. I especially liked how he demanded Maxima's description from Jimmy, not bothering to hide the fact that he was determined to go after her (and are we still supposed to believe these two men are the same age?).
Clark did a fair amount of soul searching in this episode, acknowledging not only that his destiny is on Earth, but that neither Lana nor Chloe is his soulmate. His encounter with Maxima made him face his fear that he will always be alone, and I thought Tom did a great job of portraying Clark's vulnerability. I no longer fear Lana's return to Smallville, and can now hope for a fitting end to a love whose significance in Clark's life cannot be denied.
Okay, I know you're all thinking about it, let's talk about Clark and Maxima. Although she went around town casually killing everyone with whom she came into contact, I liked Maxima, and the actress who played her. I think Maxima truly wanted to spend her life with Clark, and at least she was straightforward about it. When she admired Clark's super-speed rescue of Jimmy in the Ace of Clubs, and determined there and then to go after him, could you blame her? How cool was that slo-mo run through the crowd? So when she showed up at the DP, I can't really say I was sorry. :)
And the ensuing make-out session was not in the least bit gratuitous. *stomps foot* It was not! It was an integral part of the storytelling process! *nods* And it was the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long, long time. Thank you, Smallville, I love you. :) Tom was HOT. I think somebody's been working out, because oh, baby! I also think that elevator scene is destined to join the Unsafe honeymoon scene as one of the most rewatched scenes in Smallville history. And Lois's timing was perfect, because that scene went on just long enough to be fun, but not long enough to get creepy. Well done, show.
Speaking of Lois, heaven help me, but I think I'm falling in love with Clark and Lois on this show. I adored their scenes together. I think Erica Durance has found her Lois Lane, and I like her. A lot. She's far from perfect, but that's one of the things I like best about her. She's ambitious, funny, feisty, passionate, vulnerable, and sweet. She's also impetuous, reckless, stubborn, and at times, completely clueless. And maybe just what Clark needs.
Anyway, I love the interplay between these two. I laugh whenever they're onscreen together. The scene in the DP hallway, when Clark tells Lois to calm down, and she yells back at him, "I am calm! I am perfectly calm!" was hilarious. As was "Oh, sorry to rain on your orgy, Smallville!" Lois, you have such a way with words. :) I also liked their first scene together, when Clark was the picture of exasperation, and Lois just kept tormenting him and telling him how to live his life. I especially enjoyed Lois's little innuendo-laced bit about endorphins. *giggles*
I also liked Tess in this episode. I love the complexity Cassidy Freeman brings to this character. I can't figure her out. She's clearly ruthless, and manipulative, and capable of just about anything. But she still has moments where she seems surprised and out of her depth, as if her tough exterior is at least partially a facade. At times she appears quite open and genuine, but I think that's an act. And I don't know what's up between her and Oliver. At the very least, she's got my attention.
I don't want to forget to welcome Shelby back to the show! The scene between Clark and his dog was too cute for words, especially when Clark zipped back after forgetting to finish feeding him. Did you hear how Tom's voice went up about three octaves when Clark encouraged Shelby to eat? Is there any doubt how much our boy loves dogs? :) I did notice, however, that Shelby is being played by a new "actor." Here's hoping the former Shelby is living a quiet life of retirement, and hasn't gone on to the big puppy farm in the sky.
So what didn't I like? In a word, the Chimmy. I hate to say it, but Smallville is beginning to ruin Chloe for me. I'm not a Chlarker, and I'm not a Chloiser, but I'm a huge Chloe fan. Allison Mack is a gifted actress, and she has always been a delight to watch. And up until now, her character has fascinated me, with her passion, her intelligence, and her devotion to Clark. I've long thought Chloe has deserved better than what she's been handed by TPTB. She's too good to have spent years pining after Clark in vain, and definitely too good for Jimmy Olsen! But now being Jimmy's fiancee seems to be her primary role on the show, along with being the show's resident deus ex machina. Maybe her Brainiac induced brain infection still has potential (Evil!Chloe could be fun, and Chloe definitely doesn't want any part of a possible cure from Clark), but right now I'm just not feeling the love.
AM is selling the Chimmy like nobody's business, and awesomely so. I've tried so hard to get on board, but ugh, I just can't do it. Why couldn't they have had Chloe break up with Jimmy for good in Odyssey, and then focus on Chloe and Davis, without the trademark Smallville triangle? I don't care about Chimmy's wedding plans, or their living arrangements, or their relationship problems. And I'm beginning not to care about Chloe. Making her be so madly in love with Jimmy diminishes her in my eyes, and now that they have her in conflict with Clark all the time instead of by his side, her scenes just don't captivate me like they used to. The chemistry between Clark and Chloe is magical, show, don't squander it!
And another thing, why in the world would Chloe need to have Clark read the Fever letter to get closure on her feelings for him, if they are truly over? All that's going to accomplish is to make things awkward between them. And that speech about how her unrequited feelings for Clark prepared her to share her love with the perfect person, namely Jimmy? *gags* Why couldn't she just say that after five years she realized Clark was never going to return her feelings, and she decided to get on with her life? Let the girl have some dignity, show! I'm glad they definitively shut the door on Chlark, though. If you're not going to go there, show, stop stringing people along. It's disrespectful to your fans.
As long as we're on the subject of characters who aren't being used correctly, how about Jimmy Olsen? The character is not romantic leading man material, and the Chimmy storyline is not playing to Aaron Ashmore's strengths either. I liked Jimmy better as Lois's slightly bumbling sidekick, like in Hydro, or closer to his iconic role, like in Apocalypse. Can't he get back to the Daily Planet and provide some comic relief there? Why is this show so obsessed with romance?
Wow, that was quite a lengthy rant for someone who claims to have loved this episode! But truly, I did. I was just annoyed by the Chimmy, and well, clearly you shouldn't even get me started on that! Oh, and one more thing. Stop teasing us with Lex! Grrr. Yes, I've heard the rumors of Michael Rosenbaum doing some kind of voice work for the show, and I'm against it. If Lex is going to come back, we need ALL of him, not just his voice, and I think MR has made it clear that's not going to happen. So leave it with the awesome moment Michael gave us at the end of Arctic, okay? My worst fear is hearing Michael's voice and seeing the back of some other guy's bald head. Don't go there, please.
Random thoughts: Dr. Grohl! And that wasn't the only spot of continuity in the show! OTOH, can we take Chloe's request that Clark give her away as confirmation that Gabe is dead? I was really hoping they would bring him back for the wedding. :( Why does Clark have Lana's necklace stashed in a box in the kitchen drawer? Could you believe Lois's monitor was displaying that same old bus fare headline again?! They've been working on that story for years. *rolls eyes* Did anyone else get nostalgic when Clark used the word intense? Remember when he used to say that all the time? And yay! We had a song in this episode! It was the same song they played in the Ace of Clubs during Sleeper, though, so maybe it's just the signature song for the club, and not a return to current music for the show.
I hope I don't lose any friends over this review. I admit I have been well and truly seduced by the changes we've seen on Smallville so far this season, and I am enjoying the show in a way I would never have thought possible this late in the game. Pass the Kool-Aid, PS3, it looks like I'm in. This is Tom's season, and whatever goes along with that seems to be working for me. At least for now.